ahh, technology…

In honor of WordPress putting out their new dashboard, I decided to do a little updating of my own.  First, let me say that I do like the new dashboard.  Once I figured my way around, it’s actually a little more “neophyte friendly”, which means newbies like me can work it better.  Second though, in the search to find a different background theme, I had trouble.  I wasn’t totally in love with a whole bunch of the backgrounds… but I chose this one because it was basic, had lot of options, and I could put in the picture of the sun rising at the coast.  Love, love, love going to the coast…

So, check out my new stuff!  Well, there’s not that much new stuff, just newly formatted.  Maybe later there will be new stuff.  Right now my brain is tired just from having to do what I’ve done so far. 

That’s all for now.  I do have something else to write about later, but now, life is calling back away from the computer screen.

maybe i have a sleeping disorder?

In my recent, very convoluted attempts to figure out why I’m so tired, I’ve decided I must have some sort of sleeping disorder.  Yep, that’s it.  That sounds so much better than “I need to work out”, or “I need to eat better”.  Just for today, for right now, I’d like the blame for my blah-ness to rest squarely on something other than me. 

Of course, deep in the deepest, most honest parts of my brain, I know that it has a little something to do with me… but for today, it doesn’t.  Plus, it’s freakin’ cold outside.  Why on earth would I want to haul the double stroller from it’s dusty perch out of the garage, bundle up the kids, and freeze my tail off going for a walk?  Really, I shouldn’t… it’s not good for the kids.  Yep, they would probably catch a cold or something.   

And, when it’s this cold outside, I don’t want to eat healthy food.  Spinach salad?  I think maybe not.  I feel more like a huge plate of steaming hot baked ziti… with no salad on the side.  It’s in the oven right now.  My dreams will come true in about 35 minutes.

So,  for right now, I’m just going to finish my cup of coffee, hope that it gives me the jolt I so very badly need, and then enjoy my carb fest. 

Maybe tomorrow I’ll go for a walk… if my “disorder” doesn’t get the best of me.

my nemesis, the scale, fights back.

I am a girl.  As such, I struggle with keeping my weight in an acceptable range.  (note:  if you are one of those people who don’t… please, no comments! 🙂  )  I have fluctuated up and down since about my sophomore year of high school.  Good, then bad, then good, then bad… you see the pattern.  I am 5 feet, 5 and a half inches tall, and of average build.  For me, the weight I look and feel best at is somewhere between 125 and 130.  So, I have as my goal to not weigh over 130 in the mornings.  (you know, the first weigh of the day… before all of those calorically delicious snacks and treats…)  I always figured, if I weigh over 130 in my first weigh, then I’m in need of a change… one in which I actually pay attention to what I’m stuffing in my face. 

So, this morning, the scale decided that it had had enough of being trampled on, and it fought back.  It said I was 130.4.  Yikes.  My normal morning weight is in the 127-128 range… so this was not a happy beginning to the day.  I’m thinking, “Whitney, it’s that pie crust with butter and sugar and cinnamon that you ate last night even when you weren’t the least bit hungry”.  What do I eat for breakfast today?  A doughnut.  Krispy Kreme… it would have been rude to turn it down.

So, am I stressed out about this recent turn of events?  A little bit.  Why?  Because I need the comfort of the numbers to make me feel better about myself sometimes.  After having lost all of my baby weight (and then some)  I’m nowhere near anxious to be able to fit into my former clothing. I like where I’m at now.  I’m fully aware as I write this that it sounds shallow.  But, it’s also honest.  Who in the world can honestly tell me that they would rather be bigger than what they currently are?  My guess is maybe a handful, and probably they are lying.

More than that, I think that for me, to slowly gain weight without caring is a sign of laziness (note:  I said “for me”, I’m not generalizing).  If I just “let myself go”, it’s a choice I have made… and the action required for this is to do… nothing.  I think a lot of people blame age (and it is a factor), body type (and it is a factor), stress/ life circumstances (and they are definitely factors), but I don’t want to blame anything but me.  I may not ever have a “model” body, in fact, the stretch marks pretty much guarantee that!  But, I can look the best that I can… with some effort. 

Which is why I was so upset at my scale this morning.  130.4?  It may not seem like a huge number for some people, but for me, it’s not just a number.  It’s an indicator that it’s time for me to start paying attention again.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIS!

Today, December 1st, is my sister’s birthday.  She is… 26 years old.  In honor of her special day, I’m going to write a little bit about her.

We never really got along growing up.  I was almost three years older than her, and we were about as different as night and day.  I was the blonde, no-tanning child, whereas she had light brown hair and skin that tanned beautifully in the summer.  I spent many year trying to get that tan… so much so that I’ve recently been considering a trip to the dermatologist to determine just how much damage I did in my youth!  She was the sweet child who wanted to grow up and be a missionary.  I was the emotionally aloof child who tended to bury myself in books about other people’s lives.  But, back to Kate.

So, we never much got a long… and that just got worse and worse as we got older.  We shared a room in several of the places we lived (military, remember?), and our “room style” was about as different as our hair color.  I was the OCD perfectionist.  I couldn’t even do my homework without having cleaned up the room first.  She was the consumate slob.  I actually think she worked best in the midst of chaos!!!  So, many arguments, some hair-pulling, and much name-calling were the hallmarks of our childhood and teen years together. 

We went to college, and not much changed.  She didn’t want to go to the school I was at because I was there… and now, I can understand that.  I think there was always jealousy between the two of us.  Her toward me because I was tall and thin without effort… and me toward her because she was always “Kate the golden child”, and I was “Whitney the ice princess”. 

Post graduation, I got married, and she proceeded to finish school a few years later.  I became pregnant with our first child in the fall of 2005, and she had graduated in the spring, and was starting her first teaching job.  Before I had my baby, she became a foster parent.  I have to admit, I was a little ticked.  I was the one that was married, and having a baby… to me it seemed like she was just too impatient to wait to do things the “right way”.  She got a second foster child, a newborn baby, not even 2 weeks before my baby was born.  Around the same time, she met, and soon became engaged to, her future husband.  They got married in September of 2006.  I went to the wedding, which was very small, but so nice. 

So, some time passes, and I’m still thinking that my sister is irresponsible, and then I have the “dream”.  I mentioned this dream in a previous post, the super short version is that I dreamed she was pregnant before she knew it, and she was.  My dream was right, straight down to the approximate due date.

After that, things started to change.  We started talking more.  We started emailing more.  This pregnancy was something that she had not done before… and although you can foster and adopt babies, it is very different to be pregnant with one.  Her pregnancy became very complicated.  She suffered from extremely high blood pressure, and was hospitalized 9 and a half weeks before her due date.  They managed to control things for a week, but then had to deliver my nephew via c-section 8 weeks early.  He was supposed to be born on April 10th.  He was born on February 12th.  He spent a lot of time in the NICU, but now is doing phenomenally well. 

So, this all sounds pretty bad… but honestly, there is a light at the end of this post!  My sister and I are now closer than we have ever been before.  My bitterness about her need to beat me out in the race to motherhood is completely gone.  I think that her jealousies about my “perfect” life are gone too.  I think a lot of it has to do with getting older.  Neither one of us has the time or desire to nitpick each other.  We’ve accepted each other the way that we are.  She loves me for the slightly compulsive neat freak that I am, and I love her for the chaotic craziness that she thrives on.  I know I won’t ever be like her… I’m me.  She likewise can’t ever be like me… ’cause she is herself.  Neither switch would be a happy one!

I am so glad that we had our difficulties growing up.  I think it has made the coming together that much better.  We know where we have been, and how far we’ve come to get to where we’re at now relationally.  I just hope it gets better and better as time goes on.  I can totally see our two families taking vacations together when the kids are all a little older.  She’ll be totally go-with-the flow, and I’ll be stressing out over the crumbs in the car.  But, it will be great! 

So, happy birthday Kate!  I love you a lot, and I hope that you have an amazing 2009.

I don’t want the rain today.

Today in church we sang a song, and in it there is a line that says “Jesus bring the rain”.  I could not sing it, because I did not feel like I could honestly say that I believed it today.

First, let me put the song in, so if you want, you can hear what I’m talking about, and get the gist of the lyrics.

Okay. 

I have had a pretty “rain free” life.  There have been stormy times… but I have made it through them as a better, and stronger person.  So, when we sang this song today, I wasn’t sure why I was unable to join in!  I guess it’s because that while I HAVE been through tough times, I did not ASK for them… they just came.  So then, **switching into over-analyzing mode**, I started asking myself if that was a bad thing or not.  Should I WANT the “rain” to come?  Should I be ASKING for it?  I know that the end result of rainy times is growth, be it literal rain nourishing the ground, or spiritual “rain” that forces me to lean on God and therefore nourishes my soul… shouldn’t I WANT that? 

But then, I started thinking if that was the ONLY way to experience spiritual growth.  My ultimate answer is no, it’s not, BUT is is the way that a lot of people (including me) do.  When things occur that are completely out of my control, I have no other choice but to lean on God… so what about doing that made me not be able to sing the song? 

I think it’s because when everything is going well, I subconciously like to take credit for things.  My kids are well behaved (it must be because I’m a superior parent).  My marriage is strong (it must be because I have worked so hard at it).  I have good relationships with family and friends (it must be because I have such a great personality).  I want the credit.

The truth is, non of it has anything to do with me.  Sure, I value my relationships and work at them.  Sure, I love and respect my husband and seek to be a good wife.  Sure, I love my kids and in doing so discipline them.  But… the only reason I am the way I am is because of God.  HE is the one who made me able to love.  HE is the one who gave me my family.  HE is the one who guides my actions.  Not me.

So, again, why couldn’t I sing the song?  I think part of it is just human nature.   I don’t ENJOY going through difficult situations.  I was just being honest.  I don’t WANT to be in the rain.  But, the results, they are just too hard to argue against.  I DO want growth.  I DO want to learn to be more like Jesus every day.  And, I suppose, if one of the ways to do that is to go through the “rain”, I’m okay with that.  I don’t have to enjoy the “rain”, I just have to know that at the end it helps to bring me closer to God.

Thanksgiving drama

Every Thanksgiving (in my recollection of 12 years with the family, there’s only been one exception)  my husband’s family has a big gathering at his parents house and we all eat, play games, and visit.  It’s fun times. 

This year was very promising.  After having a somewhat “off beat” Thanksgiving in 2007 due to many absences, almost everyone was going to be able to make it this time… and the weather was great this year, in comparison to last year’s cold, breezy, overcast forecast.

So, we gathered, we ate, we played games, we visited… it was truly a good time!  So, where did the “drama” come in?  With none other than, my very own child.

She had been running a slight temperature the day before (Wednesday), but it was easily controlled with children’s tylenol, and other than that, she was acting normal.  I know after having dealt with this type of thing a couple times now that sometimes kids just run random fevers, and though they may last a day or two, as long as they respond to tylenol and are otherwise acting normal, it’s okay.  Fevers are our friend!!!

By the afternoon of our Thanksgiving festivities, she was feeling hot… really hot.  We went home about 5ish or so, and I took her temp.  Her axillary (armpit) temp was over 101, which, when you add the degree onto it for being axillary, is actually over 102.  I gave her tylenol, and checked her a little later, and it had gone up… not normal.  It should be going down!  It eventually did go down, but it took over an hour for the tylenol to kick in.  That night, her fever climbed as high as 103, and she started to fuss when she would get the urge to make pee pee in the potty.  I knew something was wrong, and that it was something bladder related.

I called her pedi. the next day, and wouldn’t you know, his office was closed being the day after Thanksgiving and all.  So, I ended up taking her to an Urgi Care.  This turned out to be a huge blessing in disguse.  The doctor there checked everything out to rule out common culprits such as ear infections and strep, and then told me we’d have to do a catherization (I have no clue if I spelled that correctly) since she wasn’t potty trained enough to pee in a cup.  Plus, at that point, she hadn’t peed all day.  Now I know it was ’cause it hurt too much…

So, the cath. process is not one I ever want to repeat, nor would I wish it on my worst enemy.  It was AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL.  She was, of course, screaming and fighting.  It took me and a pediatric nurse to hold her down while the tech got the “specimen”.  The process gave her the urge to urinate, so she’s screaming, “Mommy I need to make pee pee” over and over, not knowing that she was.  So sad.

That being finished, she collapsed on my lap and fell asleep while the specimen was being processed, and 30 minutes later we found out she had a urinary tract infection.   If we hadn’t had been at the Urgi Care, where they have a lab on site, we wouldn’t have been able to get such a quick, accurate diagnosis.  We were able to get her medicine that afternoon, and 24 hours of antibiotics later, she’s doing much better, although still she has much discomfort when urinating.  We’ll be able to find out later in the week what exact type of bacteria, and how much of it, she had. 

How does a 2 year old get one of these?  My mom’s suggestions were that either now that she’s going on the potty more, things just aren’t getting as cleaned off, or, one of the times I let her run around without her diaper on something got in there.  I don’t know.  But, I do know that I hope that she never has to go through that again.

Protected: I feel guilty to be happy…

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super blah

Today I feel super “blah”.  No other word will best describe it. 

Not sick, but not fully well. 

Not lethargic, but not super energetic.

Just…

blah.

I don’t think it has anything to do with the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow.  While I do know many people who suffer from “the holiday blah” syndrome, it usually doesn’t manifest itself until AFTER said holiday.  This is… a day before.

I don’t think my kids have passed any nasty bug on to me… I’m pretty sure I would know if they had had one.

I’m just…

blah.

Not bored, but not excited.

Not cold, but not hot.

It’s not even like I was unproductive today!  I made 2 pies, did some data entry from home, got myself bathed, dressed (and dressed the kids too), took my potty-training child to the bathroom countless times, washed and folded and put away 4 loads of laundry, along with all of the other stuff that happens every day. (see, I’m trying to excite myself!)

But, no sense of accomplishment…

just…

blah.

I’m really hoping to be over my blah day soon… at least by the mega family Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow.  Someone having a blah day tends to be a downer for others around them, and that’s definitely not what I want to be.

Friendly, good cook, nice, jovial, cute outfit, great mom, skinny… this is the short list of acceptable things for people to think.

Just not…

blah.

the at&t conspiracy!

Okay, my husband and I have been with AT&T for our cell service pretty much since we got married.  That would be, 6 and a half years ago (add the 6 years that we dated, and this is our 12th Thanksgiving together!) 

Where was I, oh yes, AT&T.  Okay, so we got AT&T because, well, we are not the type of people who “shop around”.  We don’t look for bargains, we don’t comparison shop, I don’t read the consumer reports.  We buy more on a “spur of the moment” sort of deal.  Others may refer to this as “impulse buying”.  So, that’s how we started with AT&T.  We needed to get a cell phone and service after we got married, and that’s the first place we went.

Being dutiful Americans, we have upgraded/exchanged our phones pretty much once a year.  As the AT&T contract is for 2 years, and not one, that means that we end up extending out our contract beyond what we originally planned.  And, until now, that has been fine.  We have had unusually good reception, even in bad spots, and the phones don’t seem to have many problems or glitches.

September 2007.  We go in to exchange phones, mainly because my husband is not happy with the way his is behaving.  We had to do it at this time because I was due to deliver our second child in exactly 3 days.  So, I knew if we didn’t go at that point, we wouldn’t be making it in for a loooooong while. 

We both got the same kind of phone.  It’s a Nokia, but beyond that, I don’t know.   Apparently this phone was pretty new, ’cause it was not even out on the shelves yet (remind me later to go back and thank the girl who found these gems for us).   My dearly beloved almost immediately started having trouble with his (yes, he always gets that one…), but mine was great, I loved it.  Until… about 2 weeks ago.  My husband started noticing that sometimes people couldn’t hear what he was saying, even though he could hear them.  Sometimes this would happen, sometimes it wouldn’t.  Then, I started noticing the same thing, and realized that it was dropping my end of the conversation even when I had FULL BARS!  *sigh*  So frustrating.  Although it has been almost comical at times trying to get in a full conversation with anyone (like the one with my mom on the way to Garden Ridge this weekend), it’s mostly just annoying.

So, my conspiracy theory is this:  AT&T knows that we’re a little over 1 year into our contract, and that we have been talking about switching to Verizon.  With this secret knowledge, they have devised a plan to make us hate our phones SO MUCH that we will want to trade them in, thus extending our contract and prohibiting our carrier switch. 

We want to be strong… but 10 months is a LOOOONG time to have to have a piece of trash cell phone. 

We’ll see how it goes… my guess is that we break down before the end of the year.

(Plus, wouldn’t it be cool to have one of those phones with the full keyboard?  I’m not sure I would use it a lot, but it would be cool…)

The Pilgrim Quiz!!!

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday very quickly approaching, I’m putting out the Pilgrim Quiz that is on the MSN page.  Take the quiz, and let me know how you did!  Sadly, even as a former US History teacher, I did not score a 100%.  I missed one of the questions, but I’m not telling which one! 🙂

Have fun, and eat lots!!!

http://encarta.msn.com/quiz_289/pilgrims_quiz.html